Respond with Love

by Mary Stout

 

A cheerful heart is good medicine,but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.Proverbs 17:22

Difficult people tend to throw me off my game sometimes. Whether it’s someone I love or in passing, how I react to them can cause me to have a crushed spirit. Notice it’s not what they do that crushes me. It is how I react that tends to make me feel crummy about it. I try to not allow things like this  affect me. There are times I fail miserably at this and other times I respond well. Jesus teaches us how to respond in this passage from Luke 6. 
 
 There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular. Luke 6:26

How this Message version speaks to me! I am, as a Jesus follower, to be responding in truth. Dealing with how others think is not my business. It’s God’s. Authentic response comes from seeking Him, not reacting to what others say or do.

 “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. Luke 6:27-28

I am supposed to love them and pray for them! Oh, that might be hard when all I want to do is fight back or feel hurt. It is not easy, but it is simple, isn’t it? Respond with love and prayer. Breathe. I am to use my faith and remember God is in charge, not me. When I react negatively, it’s my sin impeding the best resource I have in dealing with others– my faith.

Prayer: Father, help me remember to use my love for you to respond to others. Help me remember hurting people need your love and grace as much as I do. Show me ways to give them a glimpse of the truth of hope you offer. In Jesus name Amen

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